Contest: SOA the Hard Way is holding a contest for SOA worst practices stories and we would like you to share your SOA story with us.

Often in the IT world you learn by doing or, to be more exact, you learn from your mistakes. Well, how about giving others a chance to learn from your mistakes as well?

At we've found some of our most consistently popular content is SOA worst practices stories. Readers get deluged with best practices stories, but what they crave are useful warning signs to help them steer clear of avoidable mistakes, particular in an arena as new as service-oriented architecture. Obviously nobody likes to brag about their mistakes, but we're all adults here and we assume that part of the tale will include the recognition of the mistake and the fix that was applied.

In order to be eligible for the contest, a writer from needs to be able to interview you and use your name. We're not engaging in "gotcha" journalism, we just want to write a solid story about a hard lesson learned without cluttering it with vagaries. The story is only of so much use if the details are muddled. Entrants must also be a technology end user, not a vendor or channel partner.

Things we're looking for:

  1. Not understanding the proper way to deploy new technology or not understanding the interrelationships between different pieces of technology
  2. Unexpected security or QA problems
  3. Architectural and development pitfalls
  4. Management and versioning issues
  5. Data dysfunction
  6. Governance and organizational blind spots
  7. Good ideas gone wrong

Things we're not looking for:

  1. Vendor critiques
  2. Personal issues with colleagues
  3. Complaints without some sort of lesson learned

We will review each and every submission. If we use your story you will win a free copy of the new book SOA: Principles of Service Design by SOA guru and site expert Thomas Erl, which hopefully will help steer you clear of a few potential mistakes in the future. Please send all submissions to with "Contest: SOA the Hard Way" in the subject line.

This was first published in October 2007

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